A member of the House of Representatives, representing Oluyole Federal Constituency, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe and a non-governmental organisation, Speak Out Africa, SOA, have championed a bill, seeking to increase the validity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME’s results to three years.
The proponents, who made the call during an online seminar, on Monday, urged the 10th National Assembly to consider the pending bill as a top priority.
They argued that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, should not be a revenue-generating agency for the government.
According to the only female lawmaker from Oyo State, the UTME, which is being supervised by JAMB, should not be an examination that will be conducted every year.
Akande-Sadipe, who represents Oluyole Federal Constituency, noted that JAMB should not be assessed based on the revenue generated to the coffers of the federal government, rather it should be assessed on the quality of examination it gives.
She explained that after laying the amendment of the bill on the floor of the House, and it is passed for assent by the President, UTME examination results will have a validity of three years.
The bill, according to Akande-Sadipe, sought to increase the validity of the results of UTME from one year to five years. However, it has been reduced to three years.
Making a comparison with examinations across the globe, Akande-Sadipe noted that the tenures/validity of results of other internationally recognized examinations lasts up to two-five years.
She referred participants to examinations of international standards such as GMAT, GRE, IELTS, TETOFL, SAT, MCAT, PTE, and USMLE.
The Oluyole representative said she is passionate about the bill, adding that many are victims of the JAMB yearly tests.
Akande-Sadipe argued that a student, who passes UTME, should not sit for the examination repeatedly, rather the result should be valid for about 3 years.
Her words: “I am not asking that the exam tenure be extended in cases where people fail. I am asking that it should be extended when people pass.”
She queried, “In Nigeria, every year you take JAMB and you don’t get into a higher institution, you have to repeat JAMB. Why?”
She said, “168, 613 students scored 200 and above in the 2021 UTME; 236,936 scored 190 and above; 327, 624 scored 180, but less than 100 students got admitted into tertiary institutions. Of the 600 eligible applicants, only about 100 representing 16.67% of candidates got their admission uploaded on the Central Admission Processing System, CAPS.”
“I sponsored the Bill, 16 March 2022, on the floor of the House of Representatives, but because of the magnitude of bills that go to the floor of the House, the bill has gotten to the committee level and we are almost there”, she said.
“I pray the Bill becomes a reality. If it becomes a reality, it will take away a lot of hardship from many homes”, she said.
Akande-Sadipe said some of the arguments against the Bill include: JAMB being a revenue-generating agency; disguised unemployment and the dichotomy between achievement test and aptitude test.
She however said that UTME should be a test to assess one’s readiness to go to a higher institution, adding that a candidate’s readiness should not change after attempting and passing it, once.
Speaking on behalf of participants, the Convener, Speak Out Africa, Ms Agwu Blessing Newest commended Akande-Sadipe for championing a course that will be of benefit to the less-privileged in society.
She described Akande-Sadipe as an instrument championing a good course for poor Nigerian students, who have been victims of yearly JAMB examinations.